Kei Shibata to Keynote at TBEX Asia 2015

kei_shibata_photoWe are excited to announce that Kei Shibata will keynote at TBEX Asia 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Talking about TBEX gives us the opportunity to meet and talk with a lot of interesting people, and after talking with Kei we knew that his knowledge of technology and travel, along with his infectious way of sharing it , was something that we wanted to share with you.

Kei co-founded and runs Venture Republic Inc., the company that owns Japan’s largest online travel search engine and online travel guide media “”. As CEO, he took the company public in 2008 (2177. JASDAQ) after 7 years of operations.

A seasoned executive with extensive knowledge of online media, online travel and e-commerce, Kei is responsible for driving the company by shaping its strategy, making commercialization efforts and building organization.

While running the company, he serves as an active investor and board member of various tech startups including Flocations (Singapore), Telunjuk (Indonesia) and Allstay (South Korea). Previously, Kei worked at Mitsubishi Corporation, Japan’s leading trading & investment firm.

He received a BA of Laws from Keio University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He also serves as co-founder of WIT (Web in Travel) Japan, President of Venture Mitakai at Keio University, and Executive Committee Member of Harvard Business School Club of Japan.

Please join us at TBEX Asia 2015 to hear Kei talk about the intersection of travel and technology, his predictions for future growth, and what that means to travel bloggers.

See you there!

Katja Presnal, Kash Bhattacharya & Chris Christensen to Keynote at TBEX Europe 2015

Katja Presnal, Kash Bhattacharya and Chris Christensen to keynote at TBEX Europe 2015 in Lloret de Mar

We’re very excited to make our first keynote announcement for TBEX Europe 2015 in Lloret de Mar!

Katja Presnal from Skimbaco, Kash Bhattacharya from Budget Traveller, and Chris Christensen from Amateur Traveler, will discuss how they’ve created sustainable businesses by establishing themselves as the go-to expert in their respective niches. They’ll challenge you to raise the bar of professionalism by defining your own niche and setting personal standards of excellence. You’ll want to be in the audience to hear this lively discussion from three bloggers who bring diverse perspectives and backgrounds to the topic.

Katja Presnal owns the Skimbaco lifestyle brand and is the editor-in-chief of Skimbaco Lifestyle online magazine. She leads an international team of writers with a passion to inspire people to live life to the fullest. Katja is an Addy Award-winning social media strategist who has worked with some of the largest consumer brands in the USA. Featured in Vanity Fair, NY Times, Forbes, Glamour among other publications, she is an internationally respected speaker. Her first book “Instagram as your Guide to the World – How, What and Who to Search and Follow on Instagram to Help You Travel the World” was published in May 2013.

Kash Bhattacharya has been traveling on a budget for the last four years, blogging about his adventures. He has been featured in the NY Times, Guardian  and on CNN. Kash is the author and creator of the Luxury Hostels in Europe guide, and has developed a number of award-winning campaigns like #BlogVille for the Emilia Romagna Tourism Board and #Blogmanay for Unique Events. His current project is Must Love Festivals, a collaborative blogging project with 15 other international bloggers, developed in partnership with Expedia and 11 tourism boards & brands. The project aims to raise the profile of lesser known but interesting festivals across Europe.

Chris Christensen is the host of the Amateur Traveler, a popular online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations and includes a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog. Amateur Traveler had over a 1.3 million downloads in 2014. Together with Jen Leo and Gary Arndt he also produces the award winning This Week in Travel podcast. By day Chris has worked for years in technology startups in Silicon Valley. He was formerly the Director of Engineering for TripAdvisor’s New Initiatives group, the EVP Engineering at LiveWorld where his team built and ran online communities and events for companies include eBay, HBO, TV Guide, Expedia, Marriott, A&E, History Channel, the NBA, NBC, ABC, Disney, Microsoft, WebTV and American Express. Chris now owns and runs, a new startup connecting bloggers and industry contacts.

Join us at TBEX Europe 2015 — register today. We’re looking forward to seeing you in Lloret de Mar.

Paula Froelich and Captain & Clark to Keynote at TBEX Athens

Paula Froelich Captain & Clark

We’re very excited to announce that TBEX Athens’ Saturday keynote will feature Paula Froelich in conversation with Chris Staudinger and Tawny Clark, better known in the travel blogging community as Captain and Clark. The conversation will include a discussion on the role of video in travel blogging, a style of story telling that Chris and Tawny have become well known for.

Paula Froelich is the editor in chief of Yahoo Travel. She is also the New York Times best-selling author of the novel, “Mercury In Retrograde” and was the deputy editor of the New York Post’s gossip column, Page Six, for ten years. In January 2012 she won a Gold Medal award from the North American Travel Journalists Association for her piece in Playboy on Iraq, “Down And Out In Baghdad.”Paula is originally from Ohio and Kentucky and loves to travel to places where the USD still means something.

Tawny Clark and Chris Staudinger met on the summit of Kilimanjaro, courted in South Korea, got engaged at the Taj Mahal, and most recently were married at a Bavarian theme town in their home state of Washington. Their passions are travel, adventure, and storytelling. It’s their goal to inspire, excited, and encourage others to get out and explore this beautiful world.

You can still register for TBEX Athens and be a part of this great discussion.

See you there.

Jaume Marin and Chris Christensen to Open TBEX Athens

Jaume & Chris

We’re very excited to announce that the TBEX Athens opening keynote will feature Jaume Marin and Chris Christensen in a discussion about blogging, social media, and the tourism industry in Europe.

Jaume is the Marketing and Promotion Director for the Costa Brava Girona Tourist Board. He is a marketer and addicted storyteller whose team was one of the first to work with bloggers in Europe. Since then he and his team have been involved in continually creating new and exciting social media projects. Jaume was instrumental in bringing TBEX to Girona in 2012, and many of you had the opportunity to meet him there and enjoy the warm hospitality of Costa Brava.

Chris is the host of the Amateur Travel, a popular online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations. It includes a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog. Chris also is a co-host of This Week in Travel, which often records at TBEX events. He is also the owner of, a new startup connecting bloggers and industry contacts, the program we use here at TBEX for speed networking.

There is still time to register for TBEX Athens to be a part of all the great education, networking, and fun! See you there!

Responsible Travel Expert Dr. Martha Honey to Keynote at TBEX Cancun

Dr. Martha Honey, a preeminent expert on responsible/sustainable travel and eco-tourism, will be the opening Keynote Speaker at TBEX Cancun.

mhheadshot11110.bestDr. Honey is the co-founder and Director of the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), and heads up the Washington, D.C. office. She has written and lectured widely on ecotourism, Travelers’ Philanthropy, cruise/resort tourism, and certification issues. She is currently writing her third book, looking at coastal and cruise tourism (Selling Sunshine, Island Press, 2015).

Before founding CREST, Dr. Honey spent 20 years as a journalist in East Africa and Central America. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She was Executive Director of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) from 2003-2006, and named one of world’s top 10 eco/sustainable-travel “watchdogs” (CondeNast Traveler, 2008).

We’re looking forward to kicking off TBEX Cancun with a discussion about the issues of responsible/sustainable tourism with Dr Honey, who is not only an expert in the field, but as someone who brings the journalist’s eye to the issues.

The keynote format will feature a presentation by Dr. Honey, followed by an interview conducted by Bret Love of Green Global Travel, who specializes in eco-tourism related issues. There will be time for audience questions and answers.

We hope you’ll join us for this informative keynote as we discuss the issues of the day in responsible/sustainable tourism and the role of the tourism industry, travel consumers, and the media.

TBEX Cancun Keynote to Feature Paula Froelich, Sherry Ott, Lee Abbamonte

Paula Lee Sherry photos

The Friday keynote at TBEX Cancun will feature three speakers new to the TBEX stage:  Paula Froelich, Sherry Ott, and Lee Abbamonte, for a hard hitting discussion about travel blogging, the travel industry, where we’ve been and where we’re going.

In this interview-style keynote, we’ll tackle some of the thornier issues in travel blogging. From ethics and disclosure, to building a personal brand and business, to other hot topics of the day, nothing is off the table. We expect a lively discussion of opinions, ideas, and viewpoints as we delve into what makes travel bloggers tick. We’ll be sure to leave time for questions from the audience.

You’re not going to want to miss this one! (go register here)

Speaker Bios:

Lee Abbamonte:  Lee Abbamonte is the youngest American to visit every country in the world. Lee is a multimedia travel personality, brand ambassador, travel expert and global adventurer. Arthur Frommer calls Lee “The Marco Polo of the 21st Century.” Lee appears frequently on several National TV programs, radio shows and has been featured in countless news outlets and magazines. Lee is a successful entrepreneur who previously worked on Wall Street and sold two businesses by 21 years old. Lee graduated from the University of Maryland and earned his MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Paula Froelich:  Paula Froelich is the editor in chief of Yahoo Travel. She is also the New York Times best-selling author of the novel, “Mercury In Retrograde” and was the deputy editor of the New York Post’s gossip column, Page Six, for ten years. In January 2012 she won a Gold Medal award from the North American Travel Journalists Association for her piece in Playboy on Iraq, “Down And Out In Baghdad.” Paula is originally from Ohio and Kentucky and loves to travel to places where the USD still means something.

Sherry Ott:  Sherry Ott is a long term traveler, blogger, and photographer with one goal in mind – to make you wish you were somewhere else. She seeks out unique travel experiences while writing about her nomadic life on since 2006. She primarily travels solo, but you can also find her with her nieces is tow as an alternative family travel blogger. In addition, Sherry is the co-founder of Meet, Plan, Go!, a website and travel event teaching people how they can take a traveling career break or sabbatical that benefits their career.